'The American public can’t wait two more months' for a new coronavirus stimulus deal, Ohio senator says
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) urged Congress to pass a stimulus agreement before President-elect Biden's inauguration as Americans face mounting economic difficulties.
"The American public can't wait two more months for Congress to act," Brown told Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “We have to help unemployed workers. We have to help people so that they are not evicted from their homes or the electricity is switched off. "
The stimulus negotiations stalled ahead of the presidential election and Democrats and Republicans have not returned to actively negotiate a stimulus package. The two parties came close to the price of the deal when Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) recent stimulus offer was $ 2.2 trillion and the White House proposal rose to "nearly $ 1.9 trillion".
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) speaks to the press in the U.S. Capitol during a suspension of impeachment proceedings against President Trump on Jan. 30, 2020. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger / Getty Images)
"Something smaller ... is more appropriate"
Negotiations have shifted from the White House and Democrats to leading Republicans and Democrats, opening a huge gap between the two proposals - the latest proposal from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was worth just $ 500 billion US dollars, while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's recent offer hit nearly $ 1.9 trillion.
If an agreement is not reached by the end of the year, more relief efforts will expire, leaving Americans with limited government assistance this winter. Around 13.5 million Americans are expected to lose unemployment benefit coverage as the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs expire.
Read More: Here's What You Need To Know About Eligibility for Unemployment Benefit
"Our economy is really moving to get back on its feet," McConnell told reporters in Kentucky last week. “In my opinion, that should clearly affect the size of an additional rescue package that we carry out. Something smaller is more appropriate than throwing another $ 3 trillion into this issue. "
McConnell reiterated his point on Thursday, saying he was not interested in a "dramatically larger" stimulus package. However, Chuck Schumer (D-NY), chairman of the Senate minority, claimed that McConnell "stuck to his emaciated bill" is a "non-runner," especially given the bill was rejected twice in the GOP-controlled Senate, he said told reporters on Thursday.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks following the Senate GOP leadership election on Capitol Hill in Washington, USA, Nov. 10, 2020. REUTERS / Erin Scott
"Thousands of people fall into poverty every day"
Both parties have expressed a desire to work on a deal during the Lame Duck meeting or in the months leading up to President-elect Biden's inauguration, but serious disagreements persist.
Goldman Sachs sees a stimulus agreement in early 2021 instead of the Lame Duck meeting, which is in the range of $ 1 trillion instead of $ 1.9 to $ 2.2 trillion, the banks said in a statement on Thursday.
"If the stimulus passage is pushed forward through early 2021," the note added, "the outcome will depend more on progress being made to control the spread of the virus and distribute a vaccine."
However, a two-month wait can be too long for many Americans struggling with financial difficulties.
"Thousands of people fall into poverty every day," Brown said. "Government action kept millions out of poverty this spring and summer and we must act again."
Between 6 and 8 million more Americans have fallen below the poverty line since May, according to two similar studies recently from Columbia University, the University of Chicago and Notre Dame.
Coupled with rising poverty, millions of Americans face housing and food insecurity, the risk of business interruptions and evictions with temporary moratoriums, and potential long-term unemployment as COVID cases rise across the country.
"What I'm most concerned about is the wave of evictions and the wave of gas and power cuts," Brown said. "Going into winter - as cold as it gets - in the middle of a pandemic, doing nothing in a state like Ohio, is just plain immoral."
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Denitsa is a writer for Yahoo Finance and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @denitsa_tsekova.
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